The Cover Story

Your book's front cover needs to look professional. A book is first judged by its cover, then its contents:

Did you have your front cover professionally done?
Your cover sets the tone for the book. Hire a professional graphic designer who will work with you to create the right mood, setting, color and background to represent your book. You need more than a good photograph. The cover needs to work at a thumbnail size for quality online search results.

Does your Title and Sub-Title accurately reflect the story?
You need a title that will pique a reader's interest, but you also need to deliver an accurate reflection of your book. Especially if you are a first/second time author, don't try to misrepresent what the book is about just to turn a catchy phrase.
Use the title to draw in the reader. Use the sub-title to deliver the true message of your work. For instance, Making Carolina is a catchy name for a book, but you have to add Four Hundred Years of History and Culture Through the Eyes of an Early Carolina Family to explain what the book is about. From your title, can the reader tell if your book is witty, serious, comical, self-help, dramady, children's book, or a murder mystery? They need to know. Use a sub-title if you need to explain your storyline. Will your title fit the genre you are aiming for, or it is confusing or muddled?

Does your book cover fit what is expected in your genre?
Look at the covers of your competition on Amazon. If you more book cover inspiration, visit a bookstore and visualize the book on the shelf. How will your book compare with the competition? Does the size and shape fit in with the other books designed for your targeted reader? Will it leap off the shelf into the waiting arms of a book lover?